Do you know how valuable your personal information is? Once lost, it can take years to recover your identity.
With more people working and socialising online during the current COVID-19 pandemic, Scamwatch has received a 55 per cent spike in reports of stolen personal information, contributing to financial losses of $91 million so far this year.
As part of Scams Awareness Week 2020, here are some top tips released by Scamwatch to protect yourself from unscrupulous fraudsters:
- If you receive a phone call from someone you suspect is a scammer, hang up, find the organisation's number yourself and call them back. Never use a number they give you.
- Don't trust a site or an ad just because it’s advertised on social media or classified website, or claims it’s endorsed by a celebrity. Check independent reviews and be wary of offers too good to be true.
- Watch out for tell-tale signs of a scam in unsolicited emails and messages, like not using your correct name, typos and grammatical errors, or suspicious web addresses.
- Don't click on links in unexpected emails or messages, even if it appears to have come from a legitimate source.
- Don't give financial or account details, or copies of your identity documents to someone online who you’ve never met in person.
- Never give strangers remote access to your computer.
- Use strong passwords for your accounts and internet network, and never share them with others.
- Check your credit report for free using a reputable credit reference bureau at least once every year – this can help you catch any unauthorised activity.
- Install anti-virus software on your devices and keep it up to date.